Earlier this year the Northern Electrification Task Force recommended a list of rail routes to Patrick McLoughlin, the Secretary of State for Transport, for electrification in the rail industry’s 2019 5-year plan.
The full Calder Valley Line linking Leeds with Manchester and Preston via Halifax and Bradford was top of the list in terms of economic and operational benefits. Calder Valley Line electrification could bring a significant economic boost to Halifax as well as reducing travel times and improving the frequency of services.
Despite the clear benefits from improvements to our rail services, after the 2015 election the government backtracked on its support for rail investment across the North.
The Leeds-Manchester line through Huddersfield from Stalybridge which was promised by the Conservatives during the election was officially “paused".
After encountering a huge amount of resistance to their 'pause' on rail investment, including Labour's 'Don't Pull The Plug Campaign', in September 2015 the government agreed to invest in the Leeds-Manchester via Stalybridge electrification.
However the fear is that this so-called “pause” on the Huddersfield Line has led to knock on delays to electrification of the Calder Valley Line, which promises a transformation of trains through Bradford, Halifax and the Calder Valley in less than ten years.
Holly has pledged to campaign for the electrification of the Calder Valley Line as well as for the guaranteed delivery of a package of more minor improvements which are due to be started in 2016.
Commenting on the 'unpausing' Holly said:
"Although completion dates have been pushed back, I am relieved that the Government has got electrification plans back on track after this summer's 'pause' debacle.
"I tabled a written parliamentary question asking the government if and when it intends to deliver the task force's recommendations for the Calder Valley line and have been informed that Calder Valley electrification may be announced as part of the 2019 plan.
"I will continue to pressure the government to ensure that this investment is delivered.
"If Calderdale is to become part of the 'Northern power-house', the Government must deliver these improvements."
For more information on the campaign for Calder Valley electrification you can contact Holly at firstname.lastname@example.org